Essay The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

801 Words Oct 17th, 2016 4 Pages
What is family? By a traditional definition, a family is two adults with children or a child. In the first chapter of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass talks about not really knowing his family, He was able to only meet his mother for a few short moments of his life before she died, and once she did, he wasn’t even able to go to her funeral. “Never having enjoyed, to any considerable extent, her soothing presence, her tender and watchful care, I received the tidings of her death with much the same emotions I should have probably felt at the death of a stranger”( pg. 3) That maternal bond that some us are able to have, was taken from him. Regarding his father, he didn’t know much regarding the dynamic of the relationship his father had with his mother, the only thing he knew about him was that he was white. Douglass explains that at a very early age, slave owners separate children from their mothers, stripping them from one of the most fundamental human relationships, in order to keep slaves ignorant to the things that define their identity. Not only does this destroy their sense of personal history, but it also destroys the child’s support system. Slavery was a system, it was full of racism, cruelty, and oppression. I don’t think it was possible to really have a family while in slavery, because they were always being broken apart and Douglass wasn’t the only example of this. Douglass’ grandmother witnessed all of children and grandchildren being…

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